Confidence in Beauty & Business at Any Age | San Diego Photographer
I recently invited a few local San Diego boss babes to talk about confidence in beauty and business at any age, over brunch at Current Collective in Ocean Beach. With the help of Sarah Anne of Beauty Bespoken, we treated these ladies to a morning of pampering, conversation, and of course, mimosas!
As a branding photographer, and specifically one that works with San Diego small business owners, confidence is something that comes up A LOT. In order to really brand your business, you need to be secure with who you are inside and out and what values you stand for. These ladies are bad asses in their chosen professions, not just because of their talent and success, but because of the way they carry themselves with grace and of course, confidence.
WHO THEY ARE
Krystal Usher of Dapper in a Day and Wild Hearts + Halos; Jessica Sweeten of the online clothing boutique Sweetly Striped, Nichoël Adams Dean jewelry designer and owner of Studio Nichoël; Lisa Toperczer paper flower artist for Blooming Art; and former entrepreneur Marilyn Watts who currently works in higher education.
Angela: So before we get into the real issues lol let’s talk beauty routines or best kept secrets.
Krystal: I'm pretty low maintenance when it comes to a beauty routine for someone in the beauty industry. But I think accessories are key in showing your personal style. I'll add a cute colorful halo, earrings, necklace, etc. to spice up my look and no one would ever know how little time it actually took me to get ready.
Jessica: Oddly enough I feel like I get the best results when I wash my face in the morning and at night, go figure right?
Lisa: Just started using essential oils and my face seems to be loving them.
Marilyn: Lots of water and sun protection everyday! I’m also loving Strivectin products.
Nichoël: I take long walks on the beach or trail hikes with my canine companion, drink plenty of water and try to laugh at least once a day. Doing what makes you FEEL good makes you look good.
A: Nichoël, that’s something I could get behind! Self care is a total buzzword this year, and I think we are finally realizing that in our hustle and grind, we need to take time to make ourselves a priority. On that note, how would you say your outward appearance affects how confident you feel when running your business?
J: I am a firm believer in dressing the part and I feel like when I start my day off in a great outfit and actually take the time to do my makeup and hair I am presenting the best me. I want my focus to be on what I am about to present or listen to and my appearance shouldn’t be a thought at that point.
L: My age has definitely had an effect on how I dress now. I’ve found what I feel comfortable in, the look I like on me and that’s all that matters. I’m confident in my services and if someone doesn’t like the way I look, then they are not the type of client I want anyway. You get to a certain point in your life and it just doesn’t matter anymore what people think of your appearance. I like to look good for myself and no one else.
N: I agree with Lisa, when I’m at a market I definitely feel confident because I’m wearing clothing that is comfy, colorful and flattering. My makeup is typically light and often includes a touch of glitter. I LOVE glitter. I know it’s rather ridiculous for a woman my age to wear it but it makes me happy.
A: So I think we can all agree that dressing for yourself, what makes you happy and gets you where you want to be is key. That means different things for different people and different industries.
M: Absolutely it does. If I have a professional, put together look going on, people view me as a put together professional. I don’t want any barriers to a successful outcome.
A: How would you say that personal confidence, which you all possess, has developed over the years?
M: As I have aged, it has become less important to me how others perceive me and more about being true to that “wise woman” that lives within. As I embrace and love who I was created to be, I am more authentic and present with others which has enabled me to be more successful in all areas of my life.
J: My personal confidence has honestly been a roller coaster over the years. Life happens and it takes those weak or hard moments to help you develop into the confidence you have later in life and that is where I am getting now. Don’t get me wrong I constantly struggle with comparing myself to others and complain about my weight but at the end of the day I have a lot of pride in who I am and who I will continue to work at becoming.
L: I grew up with a strong mother so I’ve been pretty confident my whole life. I was a court reporter before I started my flower business and I had to be confident when dealing with attorneys, so the switchover to the wedding industry wasn’t that hard. The past couple of years, though, I’ve had to work on being ok with the changes that come with being menopausal like hot flashes while meeting with people, hormonal acne, weight gain, hair thinning/loss. It hasn’t affected my confidence just made me aware I’m not as young like some of my clients - I could be their mom lol.
A: Lol, hey that could be a benefit, I love my Mom and am constantly seeking the advice of “Mom” type figures because they have seen it ALL! How has it affected the rest of your businesses and careers?
K: surrounding myself with like-minded individuals has increased my motivation and drive and helped me to take actionable steps towards my goals to actually see my dreams come to fruition.
N: I like to think that my confidence and creative thinking has given me leadership skills that also translates into credibility. Though I’m confident, i’m never satisfied and this keeps me continuously moving forward to do/make/discover “What’s Next” with minimal fear. Confidence soothes the savage beast of fear.
A: Can I just have that tattooed on my arm please? Lol. Jessica, you mentioned struggling with your confidence and comparing yourself with others, which I totally do as well. What did you do to help you overcome that?
J: Honestly, I try to work on cutting myself some slack and work at a healthier lifestyle one day at a time.
M: Similar to what Jessica said, learning to accept my body just as it is today, knowing that there is always a new behavior I can learn if I want to see something different has been life-changing. I tend to focus on healthy habits and exercise rather than diets.
L: I agree. Adjusting to the changes that come with aging is also key. One of the hardest issues I had to deal with two years ago - my hair started falling out like crazy. I’ll admit - I cried!! Luckily I have a lot of hair, but I did have to change my hair style to hide the hair loss. I actually love my style now and wish I did it earlier, but it was an extremely upsetting time.
"CONFIDENCE soothes the savage beast
K: I'm a big people pleaser, so overcoming the need to please everyone has been HUGE for me and realizing that I can't make everyone happy, I'm not going to be everyone's cup of tea, and people's own insecurities are often projected onto others. I have found confidence in who God says I am and who I am to my core and in taking better care of myself so I can love and care for others better.
A: So a few of you mentioned how Women’s bodies change as they age, and I mean, it’s not secret that the beauty market caters to the younger set. How would YOU like to see that changed and what do you think we could do to bring about that change?
N: I would argue that yes, beauty does cater to the young, but what is more disturbing to me is that they cater more to the young and WHITE and thin. I believe we are already seeing the beginning of a renaissance . With plus size models gaining celebrity, especially plus size models of color, I’m especially hopeful. I love to see models who I can relate to - more my age and older, more my body type.
J: Some women (The Kardashians) have created this image or belief that you have to paint your whole face and transform your look into something that isn’t a reflection of you at all. Young girls are very impressionable and I would love to have a “less is more” message being delivered to them instead of them trying to be someone they aren’t.
N: Exactly, We have to remember that we ‘vote’ with our dollar. We need to, as consumers, hold our beloved brands up to the standards by which we want to live. As i’ve gotten older, I’m less attracted to brands for the sake of their fame. I want to support brands that make me feel beautiful.
M: As the boomers have aged, I am very encouraged. There are much more choices today for older woman that ever before. I love seeing companies started by women who were frustrated by the lack of beauty products for more mature skin
K: I think what you're doing, Angela is heading in the right direction...capturing the beauty of different generations and showcasing their wisdom, beauty and talent. I love that.
A: I so appreciate that, thank you! All right, last question: Do you notice any prejudice because of your age in your area of business?
N: When I worked for other companies my age was often a factor. Even in my early 40’s i wasn’t made to feel that my ideas had merit because I was “young”… and female. They would forget about my vast years of experience before coming to the company. My efforts and ideas were only appreciated, and often implemented, when I was gone.
K: I think I was taken less seriously in my early 20's because younger people are known for their lofty dreams and not as much follow through on those dreams so when I would tell people my plans, they would kind of nod their head and not believe that it would happen. But recently, I found that people are more likely to respect my dreams and goals because I've had a little more experience and knowledge to move forward.
J: I don’t feel any prejudice toward my age actually. I know who I am and what I bring to the table so I’m not interested in that to be honest. I’ve come too far to let that kind of mindset to take me down.
M: Fortunately, I don’t look my age so I don’t get that as much as some of my friends who do have a more dated appearance. I think the fact that I surround myself with 20/30/40 something people as well as 50/60 somethings keeps me more relevant and culturally savvy than most people my age. I have been very intentional about having multi-generational friendships and relationships. I never want to hear myself say, “back in the old days” or be defined as “old school.” I want to be fully engaged in today.
L: I’m old school, I don’t put myself out into the virtual world like the younger people do, and that’s where a lot of inquiries come from, so I’m probably missing out due to that. But that’s ok - I’m always going to stay true to myself and adjust as needed. Switching my business to paper flowers is one way I’m adapting to my new reality.
A: Right, I think when it comes down to it, you need to do what’s right for you, and for your business, and do what makes you feel most confident in all aspects of your life. There are plenty of things that I, as a creative entrepreneur, don’t participate in that a lot of others do because it’s not right for me. Well I really appreciate all of you coming together and sharing your perspectives. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by so many strong and sure women.